The 2016 campaign is the most data-rich election in history. Voters, like consumers, are bombarded with target-marketed messages engineered to endear sentiment, provoke evangelism, and compel action.
Personal information gathered from social media sites, retail data, census data and other public records, voter history, and private sets is curated by data analysis firms. The uber-data sets are exported to CRM-like management tools that segment data and help campaigns craft advertising messages and communicate directly with voters using social media, phone calls, text messages, and email.
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L2 Political is a big data management tool that both aggregates and refines voter data for political clients on both sides of the aisle. Using the Bing API and HaystaqDNA, L2 overlays detailed voter and consumer records over maps of the United States. Campaigns and enterprise clients can filter by a long list of demographic and psychographic information, including voter address and phone number, voting history, party affiliation, lifestyle and work style estimates, digital advertising segment, income estimates, contributions, and other details.
This information allows campaigns to create very refined marketing campaigns. The L2 platform enables campaign workers to zoom in on a map and see specific houses and neighborhoods. The refined data chunks help canvassers knock on individual doors using a finely tuned script, phone bank callers can now call and chat with individuals, and volunteers can SMS personally with voters. The tool also spits out XML and CSV files that campaigns use with advertising CMRs to purchase ads online and automate social media channels.
The result is an electorate saturated with campaign- and election-related marketing. L2 provided TechRepublic with data about the most important battleground and swing states. Because get-out-the-vote is essential for both campaigns, the data emphasizes new voter registrants.
Campaigns also use big data as an issues barometer of voter sentiment. L2 also provided data on marijuana legalization, a hot issue on the ballot in several important states.
Use the gallery above to swipe through local maps and L2 data on the most high-stakes states in the 2016 election.
New Registrants Nationwide - November 4, 2015, through October 2016
- 8,829,369 Total
- 38% Nonpartisan // 37% Democrat // 21% Republican
- 58% White // 16% Hispanic // 8% African American
Voter Political Party Affiliation
- Nonpartisan 3,436,611 38.92%
- Democratic 3,289,686 37.26%
- Republican 1,862,442 21.09%
- Registered Independent 60,405 0.68%
- American Independent 48,289 0.55%
- Other 34,932 0.40%
- Libertarian 33,995 0.39%
- Independence 16,675 0.19%
- Declined to state 12,229 0.14%
- Green 10,136 0.11%
- Unknown 6,701 0.08%
- Clinton v. Trump: Where they stand on 7 top tech issues (TechRepublic)
- Clinton and Trump indicate social analytics are predictive analytics (TechRepublic)
- Election Tech: Leadership is more powerful than technology (TechRepublic)
- Hack the vote: Could cyberattackers disrupt the election? (CNET)
- Twitter beats national polls for election predictions, prof claims (CNET)
- Campaign 2016: Our technology-enabled Bizarro World election (ZDNet)
- The big data trail to our next president (ZDNet)
- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in tight race nationally (CBS News)
Images and data: L2 Political
Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Producer for CNET and CBS News.